Frequently Asked Questions on Recycled Water

What is recycled water?

Recycled water is highly treated sewage effluent that is produced at a sewage treatment plant that meets California Code of Regulations, Title 22 criteria. It is treated to a level that does not meet drinking water standards. Therefore, it is not safe to drink, but has been determined safe to use for irrigation purposes.

How can I get recycled water at my business?

Check with your water district to see if recycled water is distributed to your area and if you qualify for recycled water use.

Where do I submit my recycled water plans?

The plans, application, and fees should be submitted to the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health, Land and Water Quality Division located at 5510 Overland Ave, Ste 110, San Diego, CA 92123 or mailed to 5500 Overland Ave, Ste 210, San Diego CA 92123. Contact Glenn Leeks, at (619) 607-8351; or Barrett Hollingsworth, at (858) 880-4371 for additional information. The check should be made payable to The County of San Diego.

One set of plans can be accepted for the initial submittal for review. Final review submittals require 2 sets of plans.  

What are the review fees?

The current fees for initial review are $459.00 for the first 3 hours of review for recycled water plan check. Any additional review above 3 hours will be billed to the landscape architect that submitted the plans at the rate of $153.00/hour. 

How long does a plan check review take?
The plan review process may take up to 30 days however, DEH has a response time goal of 14 days. The applicant will be advised of project approval or will be provided comments of any deficiencies should the project be disapproved. DEH does not accept or use expedite fees for plan check review.
Once my plans are approved, when can I get recycled water to my site?

Contact your water district. They will request a time with DEH to schedule a cross-connection shutdown test to verify there are no cross-connections at the site.

Can a business use recycled water for toilet flushing or cooling towers?

Recycled water is approved for such uses. Each site proposing to use recycled water to toilet flushing or cooling towers must submit an engineering report for review and approval by DEH.

Can I use recycled water at my private residence?

There are more restrictions on such a use and most water districts have only begun to explore any such proposals. The risks for this type of use include the potential of cross-connections with water lines, and unapproved uses that could result in body contact or ingestion of recycled water. 

Does DEH maintain a certified backflow tester listing?

DEH no longer maintains a certified backflow tester listing. Contact your local water district, who maintains a current list.